LOANS DISBURSED by big banks slowed for a third consecutive month in February, reflecting the impact of rising borrowing costs and base effects.
Outstanding loans by big banks grew by 10% to P10.69 trillion in February from P9.72 trillion a year earlier, preliminary data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released late on Friday showed.
The loan growth in February is a tad weaker than the 10.4% growth in January. This is also the slowest credit growth in 11 months or since the 8.9% print in March 2022.
Month on month, outstanding universal and commercial bank loans, net of reverse repurchase placements (RRPs), eased slightly by 0.2%, the BSP said.
“Sustained credit and ample liquidity will continue to support robust domestic demand,” the central bank said in a statement.
Borrowings to residents, net of RRPs, jumped by 9.9% in February, slowing from the 10.2% growth in January.
Lending for production activities rose by 8.7% in February, slightly lower than the 9.2% expansion in the prior month.
This was driven by faster growth in loans for key sectors such real estate activities (3.8% in February from 3.5% in January), financial and insurance activities (12.5% from 5.6%), mining and quarrying (13.4% from 4.8%), and financial and insurance activities (12.5% from 5.6%).
Slower growth was seen in loans for manufacturing (8.3% in February from 10.5% in January), wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (9.2% from 10.4%), information and communication (18.6% from 21.4%), and manufacturing (8.3% from 10.5%).
BSP data also showed a decline in loans for accommodation and food services (-3.4%), and education (-5.8%).
Meanwhile, consumer loans climbed by 21.2% in February, a tad faster than the 20.3% growth in January.
Credit card loans grew by 29.4% in February, slower than the 30.7% in January. On the other hand, salary-based general purpose consumption loans grew by 69.3%, faster than the 67% in the prior month.
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